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What To Do If You’ve Been Accused Of A Title IX Sexual Misconduct Charge

Our highly knowledgeable Title IX Code of Conduct and Lawyers passionately believe that every person, irrespective of their gender, deserves the right to enjoy full and equal opportunities for students and employees of every educational institution in the United States. That is why it tirelessly serves those whose legal rights are violated in the sense of Title IX. While most commonly associated with sports, Title IX also offers protection against a variety of harms from sexual abuse and assault to discrimination in the workplace. If you are of the opinion that your Title IX rights have been violated, please contact our highly qualified Title IX and Conduct Code Lawyers at Title IX Guardian Pro at 203-806-9912 as soon as possible to address your case. Specifically, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.) forbids discrimination against persons on the basis of sex in educational institutions receiving federal funding of any type. These institutions include colleges and universities, local school districts, and non-profit and charter schools. In addition, Title IX refers to publicly funded educational services in museums, libraries, jails and other institutions. The heart of Title IX reads: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be disqualified from participating in, denied benefits or discriminated against under any educational program receiving federal financial assistance..."

Rights Under Title IX

Students and workers have several different protections under Title IX, including rights banning gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unfair retaliation. Gender discrimination against females, males and transgender individuals can occur. In addition, section (a)(8) of the Act also extends security to students who are also parents, which means that if a school offers mother-to-child services or activities to its students or employees, it should provide equivalent father-to-child (and visa versa) opportunities. Potentially unlawful represals under the Act shall involve some form of adverse treatment in response to allegations of potentially unlawful discrimination or abuse. Examples of adverse retaliatory treatment to students can include the following:

  • Refusal of permission to compete in an athletic program, a decrease in the amount of play time, or a move to a less suitable position on the team;
  • Reduction in academic degrees
  • Harassment or other mistreatment in the athletic field or in the classroom
  • Suspension or dismissal from a program or organization.

In addition to students, workers can also suffer from illegal retaliation, including:

  • Abuse or mistreatment by managers or administrators
  • Reduced pay
  • Content modifications to work roles
  • Demotion
  • Termination
  • Refusal of the employer to include a good work reference.

Are all schools covered by Title IX?

It's almost. Title IX refers only to colleges and educational institutions that receive federal funding. However the vast majority of education institutions in the country, including both public and private universities, receive some form of federal funding. In the case of private institutions, this is normally achieved in the form of government financial assistance programs or student loans taken by university applicants.

Common cases of Title IX

If you feel that you are a victim of unlawful sexual discrimination, abuse or retaliation, Title IX grants you the right to bring a civil case against the organization. In addition, a teacher or coach can seek legal action against his or her school for discriminatory policies or actions that he or she has committed against students. Many of the frequently filed actions relate to the following issues:

  • Sexual misconduct and harassment;
  • Inequitable treatment or financing of sports activities and opportunities
  • Prejudice against pregnancy
  • Prejudice against jobs
  • Threatening
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or Professional Career Education (CTE) opportunities
  • Disseminate administrative practices based on gender

Title IX and Sexual Harassment

Though Title IX is most widely associated with apparent acts of discrimination on the basis of gender, it also provides protection for victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment. In fact, the Department of Education has indicated that if a college or university fails to respond adequately to complaints of sexual assault or abuse, the university/college may be in breach of the laws of Title IX. Guidelines provided by the Department of Education mandate educational institutions to:

  • Recruit and retain a coordinator responsible for investigating reports of sexual assault;
  • Maintain a formal policy that outlines the investigation process when reports of sexual assault or abuse are made;
  • Include adequate accommodation for individuals who claim to be victims of sexual harassment, including but not limited to, changes to housing, changes to class schedules, and guidance.

Under these rules, the university has a clear responsibility to its students to avoid sexual misconduct and discrimination and to take meaningful action when complaints of sexual assault or harassment are made. Unfortunately, the procedure is not always as it should be; there have been hundreds of cases of colleges that have refused to adequately investigate allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination in the past, with many of these educational establishments facing investigations by the Department of Education for Title IX violations as a result.

Who We Represent

  • We serve everyone who feels that their rights under Title IX have been infringed.
  • Student defendants accused of sexual harassment or/and breach of the code of conduct of the educational institution. We help these students and their families manage the complicated disciplinary inquiry and hearing processes of the school.
  • Students who bring a claim against another student, member of staff or university and feel that their claim is (or has been) unfairly investigated or dealt with. These individuals are also re-traumatized during the investigation process and can suffer psychological injuries if the defendant is found to be not liable."
  • Faculty and staff members who report sexual assault or discrimination against an educational institution in the context of employment. Students who also serve as Teaching Assistants and in similar positions are considered to be workers under Title IX.
  • Coaches, athletes and other individuals who bring lawsuits against an educational institution in an athletic sense (for example female players who are refused access to training facilities or female coaches who are paid less than male coaches).

This list is not included. Anyone who is in an educational institution and believes that they are victims of sexual harassment may make a claim under Title IX. Please contact our law firm today to discuss the facts of your case in more detail and to learn more about your rights. When a report of harassment or sexual misconduct has been made by one student against another, schools almost always begin a complicated disciplinary procedure. Investigations, hearings, penalty boards, student panels and administrators are all interested in assessing whether any party has violated the Code of Conduct of the School; and penalties from loss of student accommodation, to full-year suspensions for expulsion are usual when a student is found to be "responsible" for a violation. Title IX Guardian Pro routinely defends students who are convicted of such violations.

How to File a Title IX Complaint

Students who claim that their rights have been violated in any way protected by Title IX will normally first submit their case to a school official in the appropriate office (e.g., student life, campus protection, athletics, etc.). If their case is dismissed out of hand or otherwise not adequately dealt with an experienced Title IX lawyer may assist them in reminding them of their rights and further action. Conversely, accused students (also known as "respondents") who believe that the school did not comply with Title IX law in the conduct of a reasonable inquiry and hearing process may have additional remedies that the Title IX counsel may assist them with.

Take the IX Complaint to the Next Level

If you wish to pursue a complaint of Title IX outside your school because of the school's response to your initial allegation, you can give your complaint to your Regional Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the U.S. Department of Education. It is critical that you comply with the following conditions when filing your complaint.

  • You must file a lawsuit 180 days from the date of discrimination (which may not always be the date on which an act of sexual abuse or harassment has taken place if discrimination is based on failure to prosecute the act);
  • The complaint must include all relevant details relating to the complaint, including:
  • The name of the educational institution;
  • The date of the incident;
  • Information on discrimination
  • Your name, address and telephone number;
  • As much detail as practicable on the racist act.

You can read more about filing a complaint, and access a complaint form, on the website of the U.S. Department of Education.

What happens to a school if a violation of Title IX is found guilty?

If a school is found to be in violation of Title IX, it will be required to address and correct the condition that led to the complaint in the first place. It can lose any or all of its federal funding. In certain cases, depending on the nature of the breach, a complainant might also be entitled to bring civil proceedings against the defendant for damages.

Schedule a meeting with a national lawyer, Title IX.

Understanding the federal laws and the fast-changing rules that make up Title IX can be highly complicated, and it can be daunting to know your rights and how to defend them. If you suspect that you are a victim of a breach of Title IX, consulting with a lawyer is in your best interest.

Our highly trained lawyers have extensive knowledge in Title IX operations and are enthusiastic about protecting the equal rights of all students and workers – female, male and transgender – under the law. You can address your situation with Title IX Guardian Pro Counsel, by calling 203-806-9912.

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